“What price tolerance if the intolerant are not tolerated also?” – Salman Rushdie
These days there are a lot of movements for tolerance in the society. And sometimes I feel that people get carried away and lose the real essence/basis of their activism. Right now, I will use gay rights activist to illustrate what I mean – just because it’s one of the biggest causes in U.S. at the moment. The idea is for those beliefs and convictions to be accepted by the society. Yet, majority of the activists are always ready and eager to bully into silence and passivity anyone who has contradictory beliefs and convictions.
These days, one fears that if one speaks against lgbtq rights in any way at all, one may be lynched by a mob drunk with indignation. Yet we are encouraged to speak out for the lgbtq community – no, not even “encouraged,” because “harassed” is a better suited word for what sometimes happens.
If you doubt me at all, think about it from the point of view of a celebrity who depends on an image and popularity for a living. No celebrity who wants to stay loved and popular (not infamous or defamed or obscured) would ever confess to having beliefs that do not completely support that community. And if they dare speak out on those convictions, they would immediately be bad-mouthed, hated, bullied, and pressured by about 70 percent of America.
One thing I will say to any activist of any kind is this: even as you fight for this to be accepted, and for that to be accepted, just reexamine yourself and your reasons. When you claim to fight for tolerance, make sure you’re not fighting for your own beliefs to be the supreme one, which ultimately replaces whatever is, was, or could have been. Don’t make it seem like you’re fighting for tolerance, when what you really want is dominance.